Windows and glass problems in offices, shops, warehouses

and commercial buildings



Surveyors finding problems with windows

We market the services of independent Surveyors. Surveyors pride themselves on a high standard of work. We can offer Building Surveys also known as Structural Surveys and Home Buyers Reports. We also provide Specific Defects also known as Engineers Reports or Damp Reports. We can also carry out Independent Valuations. Note these are not for bank lending but are to advise you how much we feel the property is really worth. If you have a property problem we may even already have written an article on it and we would refer you to the many articles we have on our free property articles page. All our independent surveyors are more than happy to chat about your property and any property concerns. Please Free Phone us on 0800 298 5424 and surveyor will call you back.

We have been surveying commercial problems for many, many years and we find again and again that there are problems with windows in commercial properties. The article below highlights what we have come across. If you have encountered further problems with your windows please feel free to contact us. Often the problems are not that significant when you are purchasing the property but they can seem to last forever when trying to resolve them. We feel to some extent this is why replacement windows is such a big industry as we have lost the art of being able to repair older windows and also the art of repairing new windows!

Free phone 0800 298 5424


Problems with windows in offices and warehouses

Metal window problems

1960's metal office window

Windows in older offices and older warehouses that have originally been built with a metal casement window with single glazing will over time rust and warp if not maintained to a good standard.

Typically we find metal windows in War Years to Post War Years properties and up to the 1970's.





1970's office windows

Beware if you are looking at one of these offices and warehouses. Do not be taken in by warehouses or offices that have metal windows that have been lovingly painted as they have often been painted just before the last occupier leaves with no attempt whatsoever to repair or prepare the window or to stop the rusting. They have simply been painted over, as you will discover if you decide to move into these properties, as very soon the rust will soon grin through (show through).




Roof windows/roof lights/Velux windows

External view of roof lights

Another area where we never seem to get the use of glass right is in windows in roofs. These are also known as sky lights, northern lights or Velux windows (which is a trade name). Whatever they are called we simply never seem to be able to make them watertight in the long term. This is particularly common in warehouse buildings where they simply always seem to leak. Another thing that we come across time and time again is where the windows are covered in moss due to there being years of little or no attention to the condition of the window. Often water sits on roof windows either in the form of just water or in the form of water within the moss or lichens.

Close up of the GWPP (Georgian Wire Polished Plate)

GRP (glass reinforced plastic) window, they are not always metal and they are not always glass!

Problems with newer metal windows

Newer offices and warehouses tend to use aluminium windows that started to be used in the 1970's. Some of them used a thin double glazing and this was really the first venture into double glazing. We tend to find now that many of them have misted over windows.

Modern glazed buildings

Glazed office block

Moving forward in time to modern glazed buildings, we are again discovering that these leak too! These have a very different set of circumstances to the others. It can sometimes be that the original design detail is incorrect and poorly designed which allows water or in some cases the mastic seal has deteriorated. Also it could be that the adjacent areas allow dampness in. Of course it could always be condensation or some other form of water within the structure.

Leaking window

We can see dampness via the thermal imager

No simple solution to the problems

Cracks in the mastic

We are often called in after the owner has tried all the obvious things to try to resolve the dampness coming in.

Remember it can be very expensive to even reach the potential leak area which can require expensive scaffolding.




Scaffolding needed for repair work

We can understand to a certain extent why landlords or building owners ignore these leaks coming into the building. You should if at all possible allow us to examine the various options before you go to the expense of having scaffolds set up. Having said that, we would be more than happy to visit the property that has scaffolding already in place, as this allows us to have a much closer view. Scaffolding can become expensive if you are trying to decide what to do when the scaffolding is already up as every week the scaffolding is there adds to your bill.




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Independent Commercial Property Surveyors

If you are interested in commercial property then have a look at our website . Also for those of you who have been involved in dilapidations, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site . If you do not know what a dilapidations are then please have a look at our website.

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

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